“We don’t know if there is a correlation between the two!”
“Dammit, Narcissa, listen to yourself! How much more evidence do you need? You are running out of time! Your marriage contract, which you and Lucius both signed, states that you agree to producing a magical pureblood child by the end of your third year of marriage! We graduated in 1976. Two years of medical school, and an year of interning. It is now May of 1979. You have less than a year to successfully get pregnant and carry to term.” Lily said levelly. “How many times have you come to work and stayed late, doing research on sex magic and fertility rituals and potions? Yet nothing has worked!”
“He is not sterile because of the Mark! The Dark Lord wouldn’t punish his faithful like that!”
They glared at each other, each breathing hard as the air rang with Narcissa’s outburst. Hard, dark brown eyes met narrowed evergreen before they both pressed their lips tightly together and glanced away, avoiding the other woman’s gaze. Though they had spent many hours in philosophical and ideological discussions, this was the first time they had truly directly and verbally insinuated their allegiance to one side or the other. Pride and training forestalled the apology that wanted to race past Narcissa’s lips, so she remained quiet, letting her companion make the next move.
“Beliefs – all else aside.” Lily said quietly after a moment, her eyes still closed. “The Dark Mark is a symbol of death and dark magic. Creating a child is one of the most powerful and magical acts and ancient symbol associated with love and life and light. It is not magically possible to willingly accept and go through a rite of darkness and death, and then try to create the complete opposite. The balance of magic itself won’t allow it. I’m so sorry, Narcissa.”
The blonde sat perfectly still for a long moment, her eyes closed, though her body vibrated with tension. A single crystal tear fell from her eyes, down her pale cheek to drip off of one too sharp high cheekbone. Dashing it briskly away, she breathed deeply, pushing the emotions down, down.
Ladies don’t cry, Narcissa.
“Very well. What reasonable solutions do you suggest, then? And please don’t bring up that dreadful Muggle method, or James again–!”
“No. That will be our next conversation. I know that you want desperately to believe me, and for the sake of your happiness and future, I hope that I am somehow wrong.” Lily replied briskly. “So, I propose a test. I want you to go home and try to seduce your husband. Pull out all the stops – the skimpy nightgown, candles, coming on to him, whatever it takes.” She held up a hand at the blonde witch’s scandalized look. “And if, after all of that, he merely brushes you away with some excuse of paperwork or being too tired, or knowing his type, insinuates that you are the one who is too needy and clingy, and blames you for his sexual disinterest, then we will return to this restaurant, and speak candidly once more about other, yes, Muggle, solutions to your problem.”
Narcissa simultaneously cursed and admired her friend’s tactics, wording her challenge so that the Slytherin had no choice but to accept; pride prevented her from doing anything else. Despite her unfortunate parentage and those she chose to associate with in school, the redhead really could have done extremely well in Slytherin. “Lucius loves me.” She said fiercely. “He is everything that a pureblood wizard should be, virile and strong. I will accept your challenge, and then you will cease with this madness at once!